A hastily-formed group of strangers have been handed the chance to develop their venture in a top Singapore-based incubator after winning Melbourne’s latest Startup Weekend competition.
The start-up team, called Print My Life, consists of six randomly-grouped entrepreneurs who were given the task of coming up with a business over the course of the weekend.
Along with 14 other teams, the Print My Life collective had 54 hours to devise and idea before pitching it to a panel of judges, including Mark Pesce, former star of ABC show New Inventors, and Stuart Richardson, founder of start-up incubator York Butter Factory.
As reported by StartupSmart last month, this incarnation of Startup Weekend came with an extra incentive, with Singapore telco SingTel offering a three-month stay at its start-up incubator, along with $15,000 funding, in return for a 10% stake.
ThemePivot, a team headed by digital marketer at StartupSmart blogger Ned Dwyer, took out a $5,000 cash prize for the best pitch of the day. The idea is a crowdsourced jobs platform that allows clients to see how their tasks are developing in real-time.
Print My Life’s winning idea involves the physical printing of social media updates to provide a “photobook” of someone’s life.
The concept allows users to choose to print books based on factors such as a particular relationship, rather than just a timeline of Facebook and Twitter updates.
The team – Aaron Green, Harley Alexander, Chris Douglas, James Herd and Jonathan Hunt – were led in the pitch by Clair Maurice, who came up with the original idea.
“I was thinking back to my own Facebook experience and I realised that I could print off aspects of my blog, but not social media,” she tells StartupSmart.
“From there, we evolved it into a more intelligent idea that was more customisable. We were stoked to win – it’s a bit overwhelming to turn an idea with people you’ve never met before into a business.”
Douglas, who already has a start-up called Hire An Umbrella, says that no decision has yet been made over which members of the team will relocate to Singapore to join the incubator.
However, she plans to enter the Print My Life idea into the Swinburne Cup, an entrepreneurial competition with a $10,000 prize held by Swinburne University, where Douglas studies.
Tyson Lundbech, organiser of Startup Weekend, tells StartupSmart that the latest event was the “most successful one to date”.
“In terms of the amount of people, the quality of the pitches and the actual prizes on offer, this was the best of the lot,” he says.
“Print My Life has a product, customer validation and a very good presentation. They were the quiet achievers of the weekend – they didn’t throw their weight around but they had the pitch down pat.”
“At the first Startup Weekend, it was hard for the teams to push past the idea, but I think teams now realise they need to get a prototype and explain how it will actually benefit people.”
Lundbech says that other standouts from the weekend include Brocol-E-Games, an app developer, and WallBurner, which matches graffiti artists with businesses that want artwork on their walls.